My PhD Research

September 2021 to Present

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Maben's Beach (Vancouver Island, Canada) with a forest of sea palms (Postelsia palmaeformis)
- © Dominique G. Maucieri
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I'm smiling before a Reef Life Survey dive
in Bamfield (Canada) a- © Valesca de Groot
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Making sure my kit is set up (Bamfield, Canada) - © Valesca de Groot

For my PhD I am working in the Bates Lab at the University of Victoria, and I will be focusing on how multiple stressors interact (e.g., marine heatwaves, deoxygenation and human actions) and affect various aspects of coral and rocky reef communities. This work is important because the interactions amongst different stressors are often unpredictable but very common and lead to losses in ecosystem functioning and less productive environments. While the effect of two stressors can equal the sum of the effect that each stressor would have on an environment individually (additive), the majority of the reported results of multiple stressors have been interactive with effects that are larger than the additive effect (synergistic) anticipated and observed. Thus, I want to examine how these stressors influence the invertebrate and algal communities on shallow reefs through impacts on foundational habitat forming species such as coral and kelp. My aim will be to examine these factors using a hierarchical framework (i.e., spatial, temporal and experimental).